Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012

Kobayashi’s podium leads fans’ top moments of 2012

2012 F1 season reviewPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012Kamui Kobayashi’s first ever podium appearance at his home race in Suzuka was picked as one of the best moments of the year by F1 Fanatic readers.

Here’s why plus more of your favourite moments of 2012.

Kobayashi’s first podium finish

Kobayashi was in great form at his home race. He lined up third on the grid and passed Mark Webber on the run to turn one. Although he was demoted by Felipe Massa during the race, he hung on to take third place ahead of Jenson Button. His first ever podium finish came in his home race, and was warmly received by the crowd.

Kobayashi?s podium in Japan was a fantastic moment. He has deserved a podium for so long, it was brilliant to see him finally get one. The fans chanting his name before the podium ceremony was amazing, and the podium itself was great. Kobayashi was a hero that day.

Kobayashi?s for me was the best, the crowd shouting “Kamui” gave me goosebumps.
TommyB (@TommyB89)

To hear the fans cheer like that was amazing. And then of cause Alonso?s win in Valencia which had the same vibes, but I felt that since it was Kobayashi?s first podium, to then do it in front of his home crowd takes it for me. Brilliant F1 moment.

A win for Williams – and Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Barcelona, 2012Williams’ long-awaited return to winning ways was another favourite moment of the year for many readers.

It?s great to see sir Frank Williams celebrating his 70th birthday and Maldonado’s victory in Spain was the best gift for sir Frank.

And Maldonado ?ǣ F1 needs such drivers as him. Somebody can think of him as a ??hooligan? but he?s a good racer. He?s quick, he doesn?t afraid of fighting at the track. It?s a funny coincidence but last time it?s Montoya who was such kind of driver, especially when he was at Williams.
Kirill Egorov (@Bigraces)

I was very pleased to see Maldonado take his first victory, not just because of its significance for Williams ?ǣ who many of us probably believed would never win another GP ?ǣ but also for the driver.

Having followed him through GP2, I had seen him show flashes of potential and great speed in his first three seasons, but also, in his title-winning season, the consistency that had previously been lacking. I was convinced he not only deserved to be in F1 on merit, but also had the potential to achieve decent results.

However, due to a variety of factors ?ǣ his financial backing, the hopeless car he ended up in for 2011, and some controversial incidents ?ǣ he received a lot of criticism, and the fact that he had matched up very respectably to the vastly-more-experienced Barrichello was largely ignored.

His drive in the Spanish Grand Prix proved that my faith in him was not misplaced. He didn?t crack under pressure from Alonso. He didn?t try to pull away from the Ferrari and destroy his tyres in the process. He didn?t crash out. He put in a performance of which few believed him capable and which begs the question of what he could achieve in a top team, with a little more consistency.

Maldonado winning in Spain and carrying his cousin during the fire.

The European Grand Prix

Start, Valencia, 2012Valencia’s street circuit had failed to thrill F1 fans with its first four races. That changed this year, as Fernando Alonso made an inspired run to win at home from 11th on the grid, while Michael Schumacher scored the only podium of his comeback.

As I was watching Lap 19-ish at Valencia I had a pinch-myself moment, I looked at a line of cars right long all jostling across the track, many with different tyre life as some (Schumacher and Webber) had just come out of the pits while others (Senna) had just come out of the pits.

It looked like a lap one struggle for position, but it was a third of the way through the race, the complete antithesis of Monaco, and absolutely thrilling stuff.

Possibly my favourite ever race simply because of Alonso?s stunning drive.

I thought after qualifying ‘Vettel is going to walk this’ and while for the majority of the race he did but the midfield actions along with Raikkonen, Schumacher and Alonso charging through was great.

The best bit thought had to be Alonso stopping his car and celebrating the victory with the stewards and his fans. It must?ve been great to watch an be a part of such an emotional victory.

My favourite moment was seeing Alonso, Raikkonen and Schumacher in Valencia on the podium and the photos of them in ’05/’06 all in different colour overalls. After seven years the three remain class acts.
Broom (@Brum55)

More of your favourite moments of 2012

Among your other favourite moments of 2012 were Schumacher’s ‘phantom pole’ at Monaco, Nico Rosberg’s first victory, and Raikkonen’s comeback win in Abu Dhabi with his instantly memorable remarks on the radio.

I loved seeing Schumacher?s qualifying effort in Monaco, given the right equipment, he still has the pace over a lap. The old dog still has some tricks, but glad he hung up his helmet. Still going to miss him.

Rosberg?s win. Probably the most overdue and expected performance this season both for Rosberg and Mercedes, in a brilliant race. Too bad it came to nothing after all.
Antonio Nartea (@tony031r)

Raikkonen?s comeback victory at Abu Dhabi saying “Leave me alone I know what I?m doing” on the team radio – and doing it correctly.
Siva Jayanth (@Kimifan999)

Here’s what made the 2012 season great for me:

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Images ?? Sauber F1 Team, Williams/LAT, Red Bull/Getty images